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Fan-friendly fantasy picks for all 15 AL teams

Make a smart decision without betraying your rooting interests
February 16, 2018

While owners don't want to be ruled by their hearts on draft day, separating fantasy interests from a longstanding allegiance to your favorite team is a difficult exercise.But for American League fans, this team-by-team guide can help you stay true to your hometown club and make a smart fantasy pick.•

While owners don't want to be ruled by their hearts on draft day, separating fantasy interests from a longstanding allegiance to your favorite team is a difficult exercise.
But for American League fans, this team-by-team guide can help you stay true to your hometown club and make a smart fantasy pick.'s player rankings
Capable of creating a massive gap between himself and his contemporaries at one of fantasy's shallowest positions, Gary Sanchez is the rare catcher who has the potential to approach the 40-homer and 100-RBI benchmarks. In only 177 career games, Sanchez has already produced 53 home runs and 132 RBIs while hitting .283.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 24
Video: Outlook: Sanchez might be game's best hitting catcher
Red Sox
By grabbing Rafael Devers, Red Sox supporters will have double the satisfaction when the slugger approaches the 30-homer plateau in his first full season. Despite being the third-youngest player to appear in the Majors last season, Devers recorded a .284/.338/.482 slash line with 24 extra-base hits (10 homers) in only 58 games.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 90
Blue Jays
Blue Jays fans know as well as anyone that fantasy owners should look past Roberto Osuna's 10 blown saves last season and recognize the right-hander as one of the best closers in baseball. Osuna posted the third-best FIP (1.74) in the big leagues (min. 60 innings) with a 0.86 WHIP a year ago, and he should enjoy much better fortune with runners on base in 2018 (59.5 percent strand rate in '17).
Yahoo ADP: Pick 83
Video: Outlook: Osuna has skills to rank among elite closers
A terrific breakout candidate, Dylan Bundy could emerge as a strong option for the O's and fantasy owners alike this year. Though he posted an unimpressive 4.24 ERA during his first big league season spent entirely in the rotation, Bundy has the arsenal to make dramatic strides in '18.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 190
Rays fans should tab Wilson Ramos with a mid-round pick, as the veteran could be a top five fantasy catcher in his first full campaign since undergoing October '16 surgery to repair a torn right ACL. Ramos hit .307 with 22 homers and 80 RBIs before sustaining that injury two seasons ago.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 191
Video: Outlook: Ramos can be one of game's best catchers
Many fantasy owners may be hesitant to draft Mike Clevinger, as he is not guaranteed to hold a spot in Cleveland's rotation at the outset of '18. But Indians fans could use that as an opportunity to add the talented young hurler (3.11 ERA, 10.1 K/9 rate in '17) at a discount with the hope that he will make 20-plus starts this season.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 210
With the 12th-best ERA (3.32) among qualified starters across the past two seasons, Ervin Santana is a wise DL stash for Twins fans. The veteran righty could return by May after undergoing right middle finger surgery in February.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 237
Video: Zinkie names his top four fantasy starting pitchers
By logging 30 starts for the first time in his career, Danny Duffy (3.46 FIP in 2017) could give Royals fans a discounted No. 2 starter.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 151
White Sox
With reliable starters at a premium, White Sox fans would be wise to take a late-round chance on the upside of southpaw Carlos Rodon (career 3.95 ERA, 9.2 K/9 rate) and stash him while he recovers from September '17 left shoulder surgery.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 244
Inexpensive saves sources are always appealing, and Tigers fans can could nab one in Shane Greene. Expected to open this season as Detroit's closer after posting a 2.66 ERA with nine saves in '17, the righty should be available in the latter rounds of drafts.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 236
Video: Zinkie names Jansen, Kimbrel as top fantasy RPs
Astros supporters may forever have a special fondness for Charlie Morton, who recorded the final 12 outs in Game 7 of last year's Fall Classic to deliver the club its first World Series championship. On the heels of a breakout '17 season (3.62 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate) that was spurred by a major velocity uptick, Morton could provide great value in exchange for a mid-round pick.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 190
A great candidate to produce more than 20 homers and 10 steals, Ian Kinsler should be an appealing mid-round pick for Angels fans who know that hitting in front of Michael Trout often leads to plenty of run scoring.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 152
Video: Zinkie provides tips for 2018 fantasy drafts
Rangers fans are surely familiar with the counting-stat prowess of Rougned Odor (63 homers, 29 steals across '16-17) and should be confident that he can bounce back from posting a .204 average in '17. After all, he will likely enjoy much better batted-ball luck after being set back by a .224 BABIP last year.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 100
Mitch Haniger represents an attractive mid-round option for Mariners fans, as the outfielder is a candidate to break out in a big way if he can stay healthy. Haniger played just 37 games and posted a .618 OPS from April 26 through Aug. 18 last year, but he had a 1.054 OPS before that stretch and a .923 mark after it.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 247
Video: Fred Zinkie gives some fast fantasy facts for 2018
A's fans should be willing to use a late-round pick on Stephen Piscotty, who joined his hometown team in an offseason trade and is a strong bounce-back candidate. The outfielder was a viable mixed-league option as recently as '16, when he hit .273 with 22 roundtrippers and 85 RBIs for the Cardinals.
Yahoo ADP: Pick 256

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.